J Med Assoc Thai 2021; 104 (10):1671-7

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Excessive Blinking in Children and Its Association with Dry Eyes and Visual Display Terminal: A 200 Case-Control Study
Pukrushpan P , Kummaraphat V , Praneeprachachon P , Reinprayoon U , Pityaratstian N , Honglertnapakul W Mail

Objective: To identify the cause of excessive blinking in apparently healthy children, and to evaluate its association with visual activities including visual display terminal use.

Material and Methods: The present study was a descriptive cross-sectional case-control study included 200 children aged 6 to 14 years with chief complaints of excessive blinking (study group) and routine eye check-up visits (control group). All participants underwent a complete eye examination including blink rate and tear break-up time measurement. Parents were asked to answer questionnaires regarding tic disorder and duration of visual activities.

Results: One hundred children in the study group (mean age 7.9±2.0 years) and 100 children in the control group (mean age 9.5±2.3 years) were enrolled. Participants in the study group were predominantly male (77% versus 44%) and had a higher blink rate (30 versus 9 blinks/minute) compared to the control group. In the study group, there was a significantly higher percentage of participants diagnosed with dry eyes (73% versus 6%, p<0.001), allergic conjunctivitis (41% versus 0%, p<0.001) and tic disorder (19% versus 9%, p 0.042) than in the control group. One third of the participants in the study group had mixed diagnoses of dry eyes and allergic conjunctivitis. There was no significant difference in the duration of visual activities including visual display terminal use between groups.

Conclusion: Excessive blinking occurred more commonly in boys. The most common associated disorders with excessive blinking in children were dry eyes, followed by allergic conjunctivitis and tic disorder. There was no association between excessive blinking in children and duration of visual display terminal use.

Keywords: Blinking; Excessive blinking; Dry eyes; Visual display terminal

DOI: doi.org/10.35755/jmedassocthai.2021.10.13064

Received 21 June 2021 | Revised 2 September 2021 | Accepted 3 September 2021

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